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Spezza signs one-year contract with Maple Leafs

Forward gets $700,000, had 27 points for Stars last season

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Jason Spezza signed a one-year, $700,000 contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

"I felt that the opportunity to come to Toronto and have the chance to win after talking with [coach Mike Babcock] and [general manager Kyle Dubas], I liked how they outlined things," Spezza said. "I thought it would be a good fit and it gives me an opportunity to play on a contending team."

The 36-year-old forward had 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in 76 regular-season games with the Dallas Stars last season and five points (three goals, two assists) in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

 

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Spezza, who played his 1,000th NHL game last season, was selected by the Ottawa Senators with the No. 2 pick in the 2001 NHL Draft. He has 915 points (332 goals, 583 assists) in 1,065 games with the Stars and Senators, and has scored at least 32 goals five times and at least 21 nine times.

Spezza has 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists) in 80 playoff games.

"Where my fit is is to be a good presence in the room, to help guys out, help the culture, I have a lot of passion for the game," Spezza said. "I have a lot of game left, I can help on the power play, I can help on both special team situations, try to be good on face-offs, that's something I take a lot of pride in … just be a good complementary piece for all the great young talent they have there."

Later Monday, the Maple Leafs traded center Nazem Kadri to the Colorado Avalanche for defenseman Tyson Barrie and forward Alexander Kerfoot.

Spezza, who grew up in Toronto, said his decision to play there goes beyond hockey.

"It doesn't feel real signing here, to be honest," he said. "My family is really excited about it, I grew up a Leaf fan as I feel like every kid in Toronto does. Wendel Clark, Dougie Gilmour, those were my guys growing up. Just to have a chance to put on a Leaf jersey is going to be pretty special for me. I see the little logo beside my name on TV and it looks pretty good. When you get drafted by Ottawa and play 12 years there, you probably don't ever think that's going to happen."

NHL.com correspondent Dave McCarthy contributed to this report

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